Free agent and former Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel is expected to sign with the Miami Marlins, even after the club acquired Luis Arraez in a trade for Pablo Lopez, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports. No deal has been agreed to yet, however.
Per Nightengale, the Astros offered Gurriel a contract to return as a bench player, but Gurriel, 38, still wants to be a starting player.
The Astros made a big splash earlier this winter, agreeing to terms on a three-year contract with first baseman Jose Abreu. Abreu was the 2020 American League MVP and should be a significant upgrade over Gurriel, who posted a slash line of .242/.288/.647 last season.
Gurriel experienced his worst statistical season in 2022, but came alive in the postseason, leading the Astros in Batting Average (.347) with a .360 On Base Percentage, .850 OPS, two home runs and four RBI. He exited Game 5 of the World Series after colliding with Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, which could have been his final moment as an Astro.
The Marlins currently plan on playing Luis Arraez at first base, with Jean Segura at third base, Joey Wendle at shortstop and Jazz Chisholm in center field. If the Marlins add Gurriel, perhaps Arraez will move to second base.
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